Wednesday, July 29, 2009


A gamelan is a musical ensemble from Indonesia, typically from the islands of Bali or Java, featuring a variety of instruments such as metallophones, xylophones, drums and gongs; bamboo flutes, bowed and plucked strings. The word "gamelan" comes from the Javanese word "gamel", meaning to strike or hammer, and the suffix "an", which makes the root a collective noun. Real hammers are not used to play these instruments as heavy iron hammers would break the delicate instruments.

The gamelan predates the Hindu-Buddhist culture that dominated Indonesia in its earliest records and instead represents a native art form. The instruments developed into their current form during the Majapahit Empire.In contrast to the heavy Indian influence in other art forms, the only obvious Indian influence in gamelan music is in the Javanese style of singing.
In Javanese mythology, the gamelan was created by Sang Hyang Guru in Saka era 167 (c. AD 230), the god who ruled as king of all Java from a palace on the Maendra mountains in Medangkamulan (now Mount Lawu). The earliest image of musical ensembles are found in 8th century Borobudur temple, Central Java. Musical instruments such as bamboo flute, bells, drums in various sizes, lute, and bowed and plucked string instruments were identified in this image. In the palaces of Java are the oldest known ensembles, the Munggang and Kodokngorek gamelans, apparently from the 12th century. These formed the basis of a "loud style." A different, "soft style" developed out of the kemanak tradition and is related to the traditions of singing Javanese poetry, in a manner which is often believed to be similar to performance of modern bedhaya dance. In the 17th century, these loud and soft styles mixed, and to a large extent the variety of modern gamelan styles of Bali, Java, and Sunda resulted from different ways of mixing these elements.

Banda Islands

The Banda Islands are a volcanic group of ten small volcanic islands in the Banda Sea, about 140 km south of Seram island and about 2000 km east of Java, and are part of the Indonesian province of Maluku. The main town and administrative centre is Bandanaira, located on the island of the same name. They have a population of about 15,000. The islands are also popular destinations for scuba diving and snorkeling

Before the arrival of Europeans, Banda had an oligarchic form of government led by 'powerful men and the Bandanese had an active and independent role in trade throughout the archipelago. Banda was the world's only source of nutmeg and mace, spices used as flavourings, medicines, preserving agents, that were at the time highly valued in European markets. The traders did not divulge the exact location of their source and no European was able to deduce their location.
In addition to the production of nutmeg and mace, Banda maintained significant entrepot trade; goods that moved through Banda included cloves from Ternate and Tidore in the north,
bird of paradise feathers from the Aru Islands and western New Guinea, massoi bark for traditional medicines, and slaves.

In August 1511 on behalf of the king of Portugal, Afonso de Albuquerque conquered Malacca, which at the time was the hub of Asian trade. In November of that year, after having secured Malacca and learning of the Bandas' location, Albuquerque sent an expedition of three ships led by his good friend António de Abreu to find them. The first Europeans to reach the Bandas, the expedition remained in Banda for about one month, purchasing and filling their ships with Banda's nutmeg and mace, and with cloves in which Banda had a thriving entrepôt trade.

Unlike other eastern Indonesian islands, such as Ambon, Solor, Ternate and Morotai, the Bandanese displayed no enthusiasm for Christianity or the Europeans who brought it in the sixteenth century, and no serious attempt was made to Christianise the Bandanese. Maintaining their independence, the Bandanese never allowed the Portuguese to build a fort or a permanent post in the islands. Ironically though, it was this lack of ports which brought the Dutch to trade at Banda instead of the clove islands of Ternate and Tidore.

The Dutch followed the Portuguese to Banda but were to have a much more dominating and lasting presence. Dutch-Bandanese relations were mutually resentful from the outset, with Holland’s first merchants complaining of Bandanese reneging on agreed deliveries and price, and cheating on quantity and quality. The Javanese, Arab and Indian, and Portuguese traders for example brought indispensable items along steel knives, copper, medicines and prized Chinese porcelain.
As much as the Dutch disliked dealing with the Bandanese, the trade was a highly profitable one with spices selling for 300 times the purchase price in Banda. The allure of such profits saw an increasing number of Dutch expeditions; it was soon seen that competition from each would eat into all their profits. Thus the competitors united to form the Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC) (the ‘Dutch East Indies Company).
The Bandanese soon grew tired of the Dutch actions; the low prices, the useless trade items, and the enforcement of Dutch sole rights to the purchase of the coveted spices. The end of the line for the Bandanese came in 1609 when the Dutch reinforced Fort Nassau on Bandanaira Island. The orang kaya called a meeting with the Dutch admiral and forty of his highest-ranking men and ambushed and killed them all.

The Dutch followed the Portuguese to Banda but were to have a much more dominating and lasting presence. Dutch-Bandanese relations were mutually resentful from the outset, with Holland’s first merchants complaining of Bandanese reneging on agreed deliveries and price, and cheating on quantity and quality. For the Bandanese, on the other hand, although they welcomed another competitor purchaser for their spices, the items of trade offered by the Dutch—heavy woollens, and damasks, unwanted manufactured goods, for example—were usually unsuitable in comparison to traditional trade products. The Javanese, Arab and Indian, and Portuguese traders for example brought indispensable items along steel knives, copper, medicines and prized Chinese porcelain.
As much as the Dutch disliked dealing with the Bandanese, the trade was a highly profitable one with spices selling for 300 times the purchase price in Banda. This amply justified the expense and risk in shipping them to Europe. It is even likely that the resulting boom helped finance an artistic renaissance in Holland supporting the likes of
Rembrandt van Rijn. The allure of such profits saw an increasing number of Dutch expeditions; it was soon seen that competition from each would eat into all their profits. Thus the competitors united to form the Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC) (the ‘Dutch East Indies Company).
Until the early seventeenth century the Bandas were ruled by a group of leading citizens, the orang kaya (literally 'rich men'), each of these was a head of district. At the time nutmeg was one of the "fine spices" kept expensive in Europe by disciplined manipulation of the market, but a desirable commodity for Dutch traders in the ports of India as well; economic historian
Fernand Braudel notes that India consumed twice as much as Europe. . The end of the line for the Bandanese came in 1609 when the Dutch reinforced Fort Nassau on Bandanaira Island. The orang kaya called a meeting with the Dutch admiral and forty of his highest-ranking men and ambushed and killed them all.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Kecak Dance

Kecak a form of Balinese music drama, originated in the 1930sand is performed primarily by men. Also known as the Ramayana Monkey Chant, the piece, performed by a circle of 100 or more performers wearing checked cloth around their waists, percussively chanting "cak" and throwing up their arms, depicts a battle from the Ramayana where the monkey-like Vanara helped Prince Rama fight the evil King Ravana.

Kecak was originally a trance ritual accompanied by male chorus.

Performer, choreographer, and scholar I Wayan Dibia cites a contrasting theory that the Balinese where already developing the form when Spies arrived on the island.

Komodo Island

Komodo is one of the 17,508 islands that make up the Republic of Indonesia. Located in east Nusa Tenggara province. The island has a surface area of 390 km² and over 2000 inhabitants. The inhabitants of the island are descendants of former convicts who were exiled to the island and who have mixed themselves with the Bugis from Sulawesi. Komodo is part of the Lesser Sunda chain of islands and forms part of the Komodo National Park. Particularly notable here is the native Komodo dragon. In addition, the island is a popular destination for diving. Administratively, it is part of the East Nusa Tenggara province.

Komodo lies between the substantially larger neighboring islands Sumbawa to the west and Flores to the east.

The island is famous not only for its heritage of convicts but also for the unique fauna which roam it. The Komodo dragon, the world's largest living lizard, takes its name from the island. attracting many tourists

Monday, July 27, 2009

Istiqlal Mosque

Istiqlal Mosque, in Jakarta, Indonesia is the largest mosque in Southeast Asia. This national mosque of Indonesia was build to commemorate Indonesian independence, as nation's gratitude for God's blessings; the independence of Indonesia.

After the Indonesian National Revolution 1945-1949, followed by the acknowledgement of the independence Indonesia from The Netherlands in 1949, there was a growing idea to build a national mosque for this new republic, befitting for a country with the largest Muslim population in the world. The committee for the construction of the Istiqlal Mosque, led by Anwar Cokroaminoto, was founded in 1953. Anwar proposed the idea of a national mosque to Indonesian President Sukarno, who welcomed the idea and later helped to supervise the construction of the mosque. In 1954, the committee appointed Sukarno technical chief supervisor. The design submitted by Frederich Silaban, a Christian architect, with the theme: "Ketuhanan" (Indonesian: Divinity) was chosen as the winner. The foundation stone was laid by Sukarno on 24 August 1961 and the construction took 17 years. Indonesian president Suharto inaugurated the Indonesian national mosque on 22 February 1978. It is still the largest mosque in the region: more than 120,000 people can congregate at the mosque at the same time.

The rectangular main prayer hall building is covered by a 45 meter diameter central spherical dome. The dome is supported by twelve round columns and the prayer hall is surrounded by rectangular piers carrying four levels of balcony. Staircases at the corners of the building give access to all floors. The main hall is reached through an entrance covered by a dome 10 meters in diameter. The interior design is minimalist, simple and clean cut, with minimal adornment of aluminium geometric ornaments. The 12 columns are covered with aluminium plates. On the main wall on qibla there is a mihrab and minbar in the center. On the main wall, there is a large metalwork of Arabic calligraphy spelling the name of Allah on the right side and Muhammad on the left side, and also the calligraphy of Surah Thaha 14th verse in the center. Some Muslims in Indonesia said Istiqlal's dome and minaret structure was too Arabic in style.

Mount Tambora

Mount Tambora is an active stratovolcano, also known as a composite volcano, located on Sumbawa island, Indonesia. This raised Mount Tambora as high as 4,300 m (14,000 ft), making it one of the tallest peaks in the Indonesian archipelago, and drained off a large magma chamber inside the mountain. It took centuries to refill the magma chamber, its volcanic activity reaching its peak in April 1815. Tambora erupted in 1815 with a rating of seven on the Volcanic Explosivity Index, making it the largest eruption since the Lake Taupo eruption in about 180 AD. The explosion was heard on Sumatra island (more than 2,000 km (1,200 mi) away). Heavy volcanic ash falls were observed as far away as Borneo, Sulawesi, Java and Maluku islands. The death toll was at least 71,000 people (perhaps the most deadly eruption in history), of whom 11,000–12,000 were killed directly by the eruption;the often-cited figure of 92,000 people killed is believed to be an overestimate. During an excavation in 2004, a team of archaeologists discovered cultural remains buried by the 1815 eruption. They were kept intact beneath the 3 m (9.8 ft) deep pyroclastic deposits. At the site, dubbed the Pompeii of the East, the artefacts were preserved in the positions they had occupied in 1815.

Mount Tambora is part of the Lesser Sunda Islands. Tambora forms its own peninsula on Sumbawa, known as the Sanggar peninsula. At the north of the peninsula is the Flores Sea, and at the south is the 86 kilometres (53 mi) long and 36 kilometres (22 mi) wide Saleh Bay. At the mouth of Saleh Bay there is an islet called Mojo.
The mountain also attracts tourists for
hiking and wildlife activities. The two nearest cities are Dompu and Bima. There are three concentrations of villages around the mountain slope. At the east is Sanggar village, to the northwest are Doro Peti and Pesanggrahan villages, and to the west is Calabai village.
There are two ascent routes to reach the caldera. The first route starts from Doro Mboha village at the southeast of the mountain. This route follows a paved road through a cashew plantation until it reaches 1,150 metres (3,800 ft) above sea level. The end of this route is the southern part of the caldera at 1,950 metres (6,400 ft), reachable by means of a hiking track. The second route starts from Pancasila village at the northwest of the mountain. Using the second route, the caldera is accessible only by foot.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Larantuka is a subdistrict of East Flores Regency, on the eastern end of Flores Island, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia. Like much of the region, Larantuka has a strong a colonial Portuguese influence. almost its citizen are Cathlic followers. Portuguese is used in certain Catholic religious rituals.

Briefly before 1600 Portuguese traders left Solor and settled in Larantuka. The traders were in conflict with the Dominicans in Solor, because they were more interested in trade than in Christianization. In 1613 the Dutch occupied Solor and the Dominicans moved to Larantuka, too.
In the beginning Larantuka was an interstation for the trade of
sandalwood from Timor and became the Portuguese trading center of South East Indonesia. Two waves of immigration brought additionally boost. As the Dutch conquered Malacca in 1641, many Portuguese surged to Larantuka and the population exploded. Two villages, Wureh and Konga, also accommodated the new people. The Portuguese took indigenous wives, but they always wrote down the Portuguese ancestry. This new population group was called Topasses, but they called themselves Larantuqueiros (inhabitants of Larantuka). The Larantuqueiros turned out a loose, but mighty power in the region, which influence reached far beyond the settlement. The core cell was the federation of Larantuka, Wureh and Konga. They had no Portuguese administration and they did not pay taxes. Letters of the Lisbon government were ignored. For long years there was a bloody struggle for power between the families da Costa and de Hornay. The Larantuqueiros made "alliances" with the indigenous people of Flores and Timor. They followed a certain strategy; the most notable raja was converted to Catholicism by military pressure. He had to take an oath of allegiance to the king of Portugal and thereon the title Dom was granted to him. The raja was allowed to rule his folk autonomous, but in war he had to supply auxiliary forces.
In 1640 the Larantuqueiros settled in Lifau on Timor to gain control over the sandalwood of Timor. From Lifau they expanded to the inside the island where the sandalwood grows. With strong forces the sovereigns there were compelled to enter into negotiations. When the trade was flourishing the “white Portuguese” came by order of the king of Portugal to exert influence on Timor. But they were besieged by the Larantuqueiros and left empty-handed in 1769. In 1854 the Portuguese offered the Dutch the sovereign rights for sale. The contract was ratified in 1859. From an economical point of view Larantuka was no more interesting after the downturn of the sandalwood trade. The Larantuqueiros started farming. There was not much left of the former profitable foreign trade.
Formal the Larantuqueiros were Catholics, but the control of the belief was devolved to laymen organisations, which gave the belief a new direction. In Larantuka the most powerful organisation was A Confraria da Rainha do Rosário, the brotherhood of the rosary queen, which exists still this day. With the independence of Indonesia the Larantuqueiros gained new influence. They were able to reach leading positions, because they had a more high level of education than then natives. Even the Indonesian language, which became the new official language, was easy for them, because it is very similar to the Malay language.

Semana Sancta", the week before Easter, is an important time of religious celebration for the devoutly Catholic people of the Diocese of Larantuka. The celebrations center on two religious statues, one of Jesus Christ and one of Virgin Mary brought by Portuguese missionaries Gaspar do Espírito Santo and Agostinho de Madalena in the 1500s. These statues are only presented to the public every Easter and are kept out-of-view for the rest of the year.
The religious festivities begin on Wednesday before Easter, known locally as Rabu Trewa or "Shackled Wednesday" in remembrance of the betrayal of Judas Iscariot that led to Jesus's arrest and shackling. Devotees surround the chapel of Tuan Ana where the statue of Jesus is kept, shouting in Latin to mourn the arrest of Jesus by Roman soldiers. On Holy Thursday, devotees enact the tikam turo ritual that prepares the route of the next day's seven kilometer procession by planting candles along the road . After the candle are prepared, devotees attend the munda tuan ritual in which members of a religious fraternity known as the Konfreria Reinha Rosaria (Brotherhood of the Queen of Roses) bath the statues of Jesus and Mary. On the morning of Good Friday, the raja of Larantuka opens the door of the chapel of Tuan Ma thus making may for devotees to enter. His own
clan, the Diaz Vieira de Godinho, enter first followed by the brotherhood members and the rest of the population. Worshipers kiss the statue of Mary and pray for divine benevolence per Mariam ad Jesum (through Mary to Jesus).
Meanwhile, the statue of Jesus is taken from the chapel in Larantuka and is brought on a seven kilometer long procession by land and sea. The procession has eight stops, each representing a major clan of Larantuka (among which are the Mulawato, Sarotari, Amakalen, Kapitan Jentera, Fernandez da Gomez, Diaz Pohon Sirih, and Diaz Vieira de Godinho clans). At each stop there is a small chapel where a short prayer and devotional singing honor the suffering of the Passion. When the statues of Jesus and Mary are united, they are brought together to Larantuka Cathedral where many devotees attend a Good Friday service that lasts all night.


Wakatobi is the name of an archipelago located in an area of Sulawesi Tenggara (South Eastern), Indonesia. The name Wakatobi is derived from the names of the main islands that form the archipelago: Wangiwangi Island, Kaledupa, Tomea, and Binongko. The group is part of a larger group called the Tukangbesi Islands.
The archipelago, located in the biodiverse hotspot known as Wallacea.
The Wakatobi, at 1.39 million hectares is the second largest marine protected area in Indonesia. The park encompasses stunning coral reefs, white sand beaches and an amazing wealth of whales and dolphins.

The Wakatobi is situated in the western area of the Banda Sea. It is a tropical paradise with beautiful beaches and pristine reefs. The Wakatobi Dive Resort on Tolandono island (near Tomia) is currently the major dive resort within the Wakatobi, although a small backpacker dive operation exists on Hoga Island called Tukangbesi Diving that runs dive packages around Hoga.

Bau Bau City

Bau-Bau or Bau-bau is the main city on Buton island, Indonesia. There is a big porh here called called Murhum serves the city sea transportation with a ferry terminal (jetty) operated by the Indonesian state-owned sealiner, Pelni.

During the fifteenth century (1401—1499), Bau-Bau was the center of the Buton (or Wolio) kingdom. There was no historical records known from this kingdom, except from a description in the Nagarakretagama text, an Old Javanese eulogy written by Mpu Prapanca during the Majapahit Kingdom. The kingdom of Buton firstly established by Mia Patamiana, a four musketeer acted as a chieftain. The four musketeer were known as Sipanjonga, Simalui, Sitamanajo and Sijawangkati, based on a historical record Semenanjung Tanah Melayu (or the Malay peninsula record) written in the thirteenth century. They arrived on the island and founded a village called Wolio and appointed small district leaders known as Limbo. Later, they united into the kingdom of Button and appointed Wa Kaa Kaa as the first queen in 1332; she was the wife of one of descendants of the Majapahit ruler. In 1542, the kingdom of Button transformed itself into sultanate when Islam entered the area. The first sultan of Button was Lakilaponto, entitled as the Sultan Murhum Kaimuddin Khalifatul Khamis. The last sultan (the 38th) was Muhammad Falihi Kaimuddin in 1960.

Geographically, Bau-bau lies between lattitute 5.21°S–5.33°S and longitude 122.30°E–122.47°E, or lies on the southern part of south east Sulawesi region. Bau-Bau is bordered at the north by the Buton strait, the east by the Kapontori subdistrict, the south by the Pasarwajo subdistrict and the west by the Kadatua subdistrict. The area of the city is about 221–km2, with the sea area around 30–km2
As for other Indonesian cities, Bau-Bau observes tropical weather. The day and night temperature varies around 29 to 33 Celsius during day time and 20 to 29 Celsius during night time. The ecosystems consist of rain forests, spiny forests and desert.

The population of the city is estimated at 120,000 people, consisting mainly of the Butonese, Buginese, Moluccan, Javanese, Sundanese and Chinese people. The city economy lies on the service industry such as hotel (30%), trade (20%) with mostly sea trade, agricultural (20%) with main coconut production, and the rest are in public transportation business. Bau-Bau is also a major fishing center in Sulawesi area producing trepang (sea cucumber).

Saturday, July 25, 2009


Krakatau, is a volcanic island located in the Sunda Strait between the islands of Java and Sumatra in Indonesia. The name is used for the island group, the main island (also called Rakata), and the volcano as a whole. The best-known eruption of Krakatoa culminated in a series of massive explosions on August 26–27, 1883, which was among the most violent volcanic events in modern and recorded history. The 1883 eruption ejected approximately 21 cubic kilometres (5.0 cu mi) of rock, ash, and pumice.
The cataclysmic explosion was distinctly heard as far away as Perth in Western Australia, about 1,930 miles (3,110 km) away, and the island of Rodrigues near Mauritius, about 3,000 miles (5,000 km) away. Near Krakatoa, according to official records, 165 villages and towns were destroyed and 132 seriously damaged, at least 36,417 (official toll) people died, and many thousands were injured by the eruption, mostly from the tsunamis that followed the explosion. The eruption destroyed two-thirds of the island of Krakatoa.
Indonesia has over 130 active volcanoes, the most of any nation. They make up the axis of the Indonesian island arc system, which was produced by northeastward subduction of the Indo-Australian Plate. A majority of these volcanoes lie along Indonesia's two largest islands, Java and Sumatra. These two islands are separated by the Sunda Straits, which are located at a bend in the axis of the
island arc. Krakatoa is directly above the subduction zone of the Eurasian Plate and the Indo-Australian Plate where the plate boundaries make a sharp change of direction, possibly resulting in an unusually weak crust in the region.

Krakatau Islands, 18 May 1992
Before the 1883 eruption, Krakatoa comprised three main islands: Lang ("long", now called Rakata Kecil or Panjang) and
Verlaten ("forsaken" or "deserted", now Sertung), which were edge remnants of a previous very large caldera-forming eruption; and Krakatoa itself, an island 9 km (5.6 mi) long by 5 km (3.1 mi) wide. Also there was a tree-covered islet near Lang named Poolsche Hoed ("Polish hat", apparently because it looked like one from the sea) and several small rocks or banks between Krakatoa and Verlaten. There were three volcanic cones on Krakatoa: Rakata, (820 m/2,700 ft) to the south; Danan, (450 m/1,500 ft) to the north; and Perboewatan, (120 m/390 ft) to the north (Danan may have been a twin volcano).


Kelimutu is a volcano, close to the town of Moni in central Flores Island of Indonesia containing three summit crater lakes of varying colors. Tiwu Ata Mbupu (Lake of Old People) is usually blue and is the westernmost of the three lakes. The other two lakes, Tiwu Nuwa Muri Koo Fai (Lake of Young Men and Maidens) and Tiwu Ata Polo (Bewitched or Enchanted Lake) are separated by a shared crater wall and are typically green or red in color, respectively. The lake colors do vary on a periodic basis. The scenic lakes are a popular tourist destination. Keli Mutu is also of interest to geologists because the three lakes are different colors yet reside at the crest of the same volcano. The closest airports are Maumere, and Ende. There are regular flights to Maumere from Bali. The drive from Maumere to Moni, the town at the base of Keli Mutu, takes about 3 hours.

Biak Island

Biak is a small island located in Cenderawasih Bay near the northern coast of Papua, an Indonesian province, and is just northwest of New Guinea. Biak is the largest island in its small archipelago. The largest population centre is at Kota Biak (Biak City) on the south coast. The rest of the island is thinly populated with small villages.
In World War II, a strategic
airfield of the Imperial Japanese Army was located there, serving as a base for operations in the Pacific theatre. American forces eventually captured the island during the Battle of Biak. On May 29, 1944, the first tank vs. tank battle in the Pacific Theatre occurred. The captured airfield was renamed Mokmer Airfield and later transferred to the Royal Australian Air Force.
On July 1, 1998 (the anniversary of the unsuccessful 1971 Papuan declaration of independence) Biak was the scene of what is commonly known as the 'Biak Massacre' or 'Bloody Biak'. Native Papuan people and members of the Organisasi Papua Merdeka (
Free Papua Movement), raised their traditional flag, 'The Morning Star', at Kota Biak water tower and camped there for the next six days.
The people of Biak are predominantly Melanesians and the main religion is Christianity. The official language is
Indonesian and the main local language is Biak.

The Biak Numfor culture revolves around their ancient animist religion, although today they are Christian as well.
Their beliefs revolve around a ritual ceremony called Wor, where they will be plagued by all kinds of bad luck and sickness. The Wor is in all aspect of their life and some of their traditional ceremonies are still being held now. They include the first hair cut ceremony (Wor Kapapnik), the growing up ceremony (Wor Famarmar) and the Wedding ceremony (Wor Yakyaker Farbakbuk).

There are numerous types of flora in the island's tropical rain forest. The forest also has a variety trees and other commercially important species plus the lush vegetation of mangrove swamps. The fauna is very similar to Australian fauna such as the group of fowl like pigeon, cockatoo, "nuri" and the reptile group such as snake, turtle and medium sized lizard.

Kelud Mountain

Kelud is a volcano mountain located in East Java on Java in Indonesia. Like many Indonesian volcanoes and others on the Pacific Ring of Fire, Kelud is known for large explosive eruptions throughout its history. More than 30 eruptions have occurred since 1000 A.D. this mountain has erupted many times. On May 19, 1919, an eruption at Kelud killed an estimated 5,000 people, mostly through hot mudflows (also known as "lahar"). More recent eruptions in 1951, 1966, and 1990 have altogether killed another 250 people.

A strong and explosive eruption on early February 1990 produced a 7 kilometres (4 mi) high column of tephra, heavy tephra falls and several pyroclastic flows. More than thirty people were killed.

On October 16, 2007, Indonesian authorities ordered the evacuation of 30,000 residents living near Kelud, after scientists placed the volcano on the highest alert level, meaning that they expected an imminent eruption.
Kelud erupted at about 3 p.m. local time on Saturday, November 3, 2007. The eruption was confirmed by the Indonesian government's Centre for Vulcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation. More than 350,000 people lived within 10 kilometres (6 miles) of the volcano. Surabaya, Indonesia's second-largest city and home to one of the country's busiest airports, is 90 kilometres (56 miles) to the northwest. Many villagers were reported fleeing the area in panic after reports of the eruption. Seismological equipment near the volcano's crater was still operating, and scientists said that indicated a small eruption at best.
However, early Sunday morning, November 4, Mount Kelud spewed ash 500 metres into the air, indicating a full eruption was taking place. On November 5, new columns of smoke and steam erupted from the crater. Boiling water cascaded down the flanks of the mountain from the crater lake, and seismological equipment near the crater ceased working. The following day, a lava dome rose through the center of the crater lake atop the mountain.The volcano continued to emit smoke, with plumes reaching a kilometre (3,280 feet, or six-tenths of a mile) into the atmosphere. But after 48 hours of smoke and ash but no lava, Indonesian officials declared on November 8 that no eruption was immediate. By November 12, Mount Kelud began spewing lava into its crater lake. The lava dome, which had expanded to 250 metres (roughly 275 yards) long and 120 metres (131 yards high), cracked open and lava began oozing into the surrounding water. Smoke rose more than two kilometres (1.2 miles) into the air, and ash dusted several villages around the volcano. On November 14, smoke billowed 2.5 kilometres (1.5 miles) into the air, and light ash covered villages 15 kilometres (9.3 miles) away.

Mount Merbabu

Mount Merbabu is a dormant stratovolcano in Central Java province on the Indonesian island of Java. The active volcano Mount Merapi is directly adjacent on its south-east side, while the city of Salatiga is located on its northern foothills. A 1,500m high broad saddle lies between Merbabu and Merapi, the site of the village of Selo and highly fertile[citation needed] farming land.
There are two peaks; Syarif (3,119 m) and Kenteng Songo (3,145 m). Three U-shaped radial valleys extend from the Kenteng Songo summit in northwesterly, northeastly and southeastly directions.

Two known moderate eruptions occurred in 1560 and 1797. The 1797 event was rated 2: Explosive, on the Volcanic Explosivity Index. An unconfirmed eruption may have occurred in 1570. Merbabu can be climbed from several routes originating from the town of Kopeng on the north east sideside, and also from Selo on the southern side. A climb from Kopeng to Kenteng Songo takes between 8 and 10 hours

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Lake Toba

Lake Toba is a lake and supervolcano, 100 kilometres long and 30 kilometres wide, and 505 metres (1,666 ft) at its deepest point. Located in the middle of the northern part of the Indonesian island of Sumatra with a surface elevation of about 900 metres (2,953 ft), the lake stretches from 2°53′N 98°31′E / 2.88°N 98.52°E / 2.88; 98.52 to 2°21′N 99°06′E / 2.35°N 99.1°E / 2.35; 99.1.

The Toba caldera complex in Northern Sumatra, Indonesia consists of four overlapping volcanic craters that adjoin the Sumatran "volcanic front". The youngest and fourth caldera is the world's largest Quaternary caldera (100 by 30 kilometres) and intercepts the three older calderas. Following the "Youngest Toba tuff eruption", a typical resurgent dome formed within the new caldera, joining two half-domes separated by a longitudinal graben.
There are at least four cones, four stratovolcanoes and three craters visible in the lake. The Tandukbenua cone on the NW edge of the caldera is relatively lacking in vegetation, suggesting a young age of only several hundred years. Also, the Pusubukit volcano on the south edge of the caldera is solfatarically active.

Bengawan Solo River

The Bengawan Solo River is the longest river on the Indonesian island of Java, approximately 540 km in length. Apart from its importance as watercourse to the inhabitants and farmlands of the eastern and northern parts of the island, it is a renowned region in paleoanthropology circles.

The Bengawan Solo River has its source at the volcano of Mount Lawu,in Central Java. From there it flows in a northerly direction, through the Sewu Mountains. Along its course it is joined by several tributaries. Some of these, such as the Madiun and Brantas rivers are substantial rivers themselves. The river makes an easterly turn through East Java, passing through the Kendang Mountains and into the Solo Valley, which is relatively flat.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Aceh Sultanate

The Sultanate of Aceh was a sultanate centered in the modern area of Aceh Province, Sumatra, Indonesia, which was a major regional power in the 16th and 17th centuries, before experiencing a long period of decline. Its capital was Kutaraja, the present Banda Aceh. In addition to its considerable military strength, the court of Aceh became a noted center of Islamic scholarship and trade.
Aceh's origins are unquestionably Cham, as the Champa king Syah Pau Kubah sent his son Syah Pau Ling to rule over Aceh when the capital Vijaya (Champa)in 1471 AD, was sacked by the Vietnamese. Acehnese is the only other non-Chamic language in the 11 language Aceh-Chamic languages group.
The ruler of Aceh converted to Islam in the mid-15th century. The sultanate was founded by
Ali Mughayat Syah, who began campaigns to extend his control over northern Sumatra in 1520. His conquests included Deli, Pedir, and Pasai, and he attacked Aru. His son Alauddin al-Kahar extended the domains farther south into Sumatra, but was less successful in his attempts to gain a foothold across the strait, though he made several attacks on both Johor and Malacca, with the support along with men and firearms from Suleiman the Magnificent's Ottoman Empire.

1496-1528 Ali Mughayat Syah
Alauddin al Qahhar
1568-1575 Husain Ali Riayat Syah
1575 Muda of AcehMuda
1575-1576 Sri Alam
1576-1577 Zainal Abidin of AcehZainal Abidin
1577-1589 Alauddin Mansur Syah
1589-1596 Buyong
1596-1604 Alauddin Riayat Syah Sayyid al-Mukammil
1604-1607 Ali Riayat Syah
Iskandar Muda
Iskandar Thani
Ratu Safiatuddin Tajul Alam
1675-1678 Ratu Naqiatuddin Nurul Alam
1678-1688 Ratu Zaqiatuddin Inayat Syah
1688-1699 [[Ratu Kamalat Syah Zinatuddin
1699-1702 Badrul Alam Syarif Hashim Jamaluddin
1702-1703 Perkasa Alam Syarif Lamtui
1703-1726 Jamal ul Alam Badrul Munir
1726 Jauhar ul Alam Aminuddin
1726-1727 Syamsul Alam
1727-1735 Alauddin Ahmad Syah
1735-1760 Alauddin Johan Syah
1750-1781 Mahmud Syah
1764-1785 Badruddin
1775-1781 Sulaiman Syah
1781-1795 Alauddin Muhammad Daud Syah
1795-1815 Alauddin Jauhar ul Alam
1815-1818 Syarif Saif ul Alam
1818-1824 Alauddin Jauhar ul Alam (second time)
1824-1838 Muhammad Syah
1838-1857 Sulaiman Syah
1857-1870 Mansur Syah
1870-1874 Mahmud Syah
1874-1903 Muhammad Daud Syah

Candi Muara takus

Candi Muara Takus is a Buddhist temple belong to the Sriwijaya empire. It is located in Kampar regency, Riau, Sumatra island, Indonesia.

Candi Muara Takus was constructed by the maritime-based Sriwijaya Empire in the eleventh century. The architecture and design of the temples clearly indicates that they are of Mahayana Buddhist origin. The site was abandoned for many centuries before it was re-discovered by Cornet De Groot in 1860. The site was explored and surveyed by W.P Groenveld in 1880 and excavations have been conducted periodically since. The site is now protected as a national monument.It is one of the largest and best-preserved ancient temple complexes in Sumatra.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Agung Mountain

Mount Agung located in Bali. The Balinese believe that Mount Agung is a replica of Mount Meru, the central axis of the universe. One legend hold that the mountain is a fragment of Meru brought to Bali by the first Hindus.

Gunung Agung last erupted in 1963-64 and is still active, with a large and very deep crater which occasionally belches smoke and ash. From a distance, the mountain appears to be perfectly conical, despite the existence of the large crater.
From the peak of the mountain, it is possible to see the peak of Mount Rinjani on the island of Lombok, although both mountains are frequently covered in clouds.

There are two routes up the mountain, one from Besakih which proceeds to a higher peak and starts at approximately 1,100 m (3,610 ft) and another which commences higher from Pura Pasar Agung, on the southern slope of the mountain, near Selat and which is reputed to take four hours. There is no path between the two routes at the top.

Nusa Kambangan

Nusa Kembangan island is located in the Indian Ocean, separated by a narrow strait off the southern coast of Java island; the closest port is Cilacap in Central Java province. Nusa Kambangan well known as the prison to convicted murderers, terrorists, drug dealers and those convicted in high profile corruption cases.

The island was made into a prison island during the Dutct period. The colonial government built a high security prison on the isolated island to exile criminals and political dissidents. The prison on Nusakambangan was opened in the mid-1920s by Indonesia's former Dutch colonial rulers and was once considered the harshest penal institution in South East Asia.

Its usage as a prison island continued after independence. During the rule of former President Suharto, hundreds of political dissidents were imprisoned on the island. Most were political prisoners, members of the banned Communist Party of Indonesia, the party which forbidden at that time.
In 1996, the island was finally opened to the public as a tourist destination.
The island has also been involved in refugee handling. About 140 Afghan refugees were detained on the island after their boat, which was en route to Christmas Island, Australia, sank in rough seas on August 17 2001.

The island was also affected by the July 2006 Java earthquake, when a tsunami triggered by a 7.7-magnitude undersea earthquake off the coast of Java. And at least fifteen inmates on the Nusakambangan prison island near Pangandaran were also missing.

There are nine prisons built in the island, four of which are still used:
Permisan prison, built in 1908,
Batu prison, built in 1925,
Besi prison, built in 1929,
Kembangkuning prison, built in 1950.
There are also five inactive prisons:
Nirbaya prison, built in 1912,
Karanganyar prison, built in 1912,
Karangtengah prison, built in 1928,
Gliger prison, built in 1929,
Limusbuntu prison, built in 1935.

Famous people once imprisoned on the island include:
Pramoedya Ananta Toer, poet and novelist,
Bob Hasan, former Minister of Forestry, convicted of corruption charges,
Imam Samudra, Amrozi, and Ali Gufron, three men convicted of organising the 2002 Bali Boombing . They were executed there by firing squad on November 9, 2008.
Tommy Suharto, son of former president Suharto, convicted of masterminding the murder of the judge who sentenced him for corruption.
Fabianus Tibo, Dominggus da Silva and Marianus Riwu, three men convicted as provocateurs of a deadly riot in Central Sulawesi; they have been executed there.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Gunung Leuseur National Park

Gunung Leuser National Park is a national park covering 7,927 km² which located in northern Sumatra, Indonesia, straddling the border of North Sumatra and Aceh provinces.The national park, named after 3,381 m height of Mount Leuser, protects a wide range of ecosystems. An orangutan sanctuary of Bukit Lawang is located inside the park. Together with Bukit Barisan Selatan and Kerinci Seblat national parks it forms a World Heritage Site, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra.

Gunung Leuser National Park is one of the two remaining habitat for Sumatran Orangutans (Pongo abelii). In 1971, Herman Rijksen established the Ketambe research station, a specially designated research area for the orangutan. here Orang utan has their own habitat.

Seeing the orangutans is a magical experience. Still the best experience is an encounter in the jungle where there are many semi-wild and wild animals. There are also white and black gibbons that make an amazing noise calling out to each other, and Thomas Leaf monkeys. Since there are very few still alive, it is very improbable that either the Sumatran Tiger or the Sumatran Rhinoceros will be encountered, although footprints and droppings have been reported.

Access to the Gunung Leuser National Park is Rp. 20,000 per person - payable either in Bukit Lawang, or at the orangutan feeding ground. Permit should be included in all treks and jungle activities, but check with the guide to be sure.


Kota Binjai is an independent city in the North Sumatra province of Indonesia. Binjai is connected to Medan (the provincial capital), about 22 km, by the Sumatra highway that goes to Banda Aceh, and effectively forms a part of Greater Medan. Its strategic and closen location to Medan has made Binjai part of the Medan-Binjai-Deli Serdang (Medibang) development project.
Historically the Binjai area was situated between two Malay kingdoms, Deli and Langkat. Binjai grew from a small village on the edge of the Bingai River.
Binjai is located between the
Mencirim and Bingai rivers. On average, it is 28 m above sea level. As the crow flies, Binjai is only 8 km from Medan, although Kabupaten Deli Serdang separates the two. The two nearby rivers, the Bingai and Mencirim Rivers satisfy the needs of the city for clean water, which is distributed by the local water company.
Binjai city is divided into 5 subdistrict (kecamatan) which are further divided into 37 villages (kelurahan).
The current mayor of the city is Ali Umri. Formerly, Binjai was the location for the headquarters of the Langkat
Police Force, which had responsibility for policing both the city of Binjai and Kabupaten Langkat.
Binjai is a multi-ethnic city, with Javanese, Batak, Chinese, Indian and Malay citizens. This complex ethnic mix gives Binjai a rich cultural and religious life. The majority of the population are Islamic, mainly of Javanese and Malay origin. The largest mosque is located in Kapten Machmud Ismail Street. The Christian population is next largest, and is mainly made up of Sumatran Christians, while the majority of Buddhists are of Chinese origin. There is one Hindu temple in Binjai, located on Ahmad Yani Street, and the Hindu population are mainly made up of ethnic Indians.

Karimata Island

The Karimata Islands are small islands off the west coast of Indonesian Borneo, about 20 km across (east-west), and situated at 1°37′S 108°53′E / 1.617°S 108.883°E / -1.617; 108.883. A substantial population of cave swiftlets has historically been the source of birds nests for birds nest soup, but has decreased recently to near extirpation, due to over harvesting by non-indigenous collectors who have been arriving from the mainland.
Dutch explorers visited the island a number of times, and there have been at least two recent visits by biologists. The island is classified as a nature reserve by the Indonesian government, but there has been no management of the area. There are rumours of plans for large tourist developments.

Istana Merdeka

Istana Merdeka is a palace complex in Central Jakarta, Indonesia. The Istana Negara was built started in 1796, when Pieter Gerardus van Overstraten became Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies, and was finished in Johannes Siberg's era in 1804. The Istana was actually built for the Dutch businessman, J A van Braam, as his retreat residence.
1820, this mansion was rented and then in 1821, sold to the Dutch Colonial Government. The government used this building as the center of all its activities and as the official residence of the Governor-General when they had business in Batavia. The Van Braam’s mansion was chosen because Istana Daendels (now Departemen Keuangan) in Lapangan Banteng (formerly known as Waterloo) was not finished yet. But after the Daendles finished, that building was used for the government office.
In the Colonial era, a few important events happened in this building that has the official name, Hotel van den Gouverneur-Generaal. For example, this building witnessed the Governor
Graaf van den Bosch declare the cultuur stelsel system. And then, the ratification ceremony of the Lingarjati Treaty on March 25, 1947.
In the beginning, this 3.375 m² Greek architecture building had two stories. But in
1848, the upper floor was demolished, and the lower floor was made bigger for making a more formal impression. Now the building is still the same.
Because this palace started to feel too crowded, with the instruction of
J.W. van Lansberge in 1873, a new palace was built in the complex, which known as Istana Gambir. The new palace, in the beginning of Republic Indonesia’s independence, witnessed the ratification ceremony of claiming of declaration of Independence of Indonesia from the Dutch in 1949.
In that sentimental ceremony the Dutch Royal flag was substitutes with Indonesian Red and White flag. Hundred thousands of people were in tears when the flag rose into the sky. When the flag reached the top, all the tears became new spirit. They all yelled “Merdeka! Merdeka!”. From that moment, Istana Gambir has been known as Istana Merdeka.
Since the Dutch Colonial rule, Japanese Invasion and
Indonesian Republic, more than 20 heads of state and governments have already used the Istana Merdeka as the official residence and central of government activities.
As the central of the state’s activities, now the Istana Negara is the venue for official state events, such as the Independence Day ceremony, welcoming the state’s guests, receiving the Letter of Credence from foreign ambassadors, installation of ministers, ambassadors, the opening of national meetings, national and international congress and official state banquet.
The Istana Merdeka has a several rooms such as, First Chamber, Residential Chamber, Guest Room, Banquet Room, Reception Hall, Regalia Room, Office, Bed Chamber, Living Room, and Kitchen.
After Soekarno, the presidents no longer use the Istana as the official residence but only used the office until President
Abdurrahman Wahid and Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Istana Bogor

Istana Bogor is one of 6 Presidential Palaces in Indonesia. Istana Bogor was opened to the public in 1968 to public tour groups (not individuals), with the permission of the then President of Indonesia, Suharto.

The original colonial building on the site of Istana Bogor was a mansion named Buitenzorg (also Sans Souci), which was built from August 1744 as a country retreat for the Dutch Governors, including also during the period of British administration. Notable occupants of the mansion include Herman Willem Daendels and Sir Stamford Raffles.
From 1870 to 1942 the Istana Bogor served as the official residence of the Dutch
Governors General.

The grounds of the estate contain several buildings - the largest of which is the main palace and its two wings. The main palace contains private offices for the head of state, a library, a dining room, a ministers' meeting room, a theater room, and the Garuda room (for welcoming State guests). The two wings are used as the guest residences for State guests. Kebun Raya Bogor ("Great Gardens of Bogor", the Bogor Botanical Gardens) are also part of the palace grounds.

Gedung Sate

Gedung Sate, located in Bandung, West Java is a neo-classical building mixed with native elements that now serves as the governor's office of the West Java province in Indonesia. Tthe building was designed by a Dutch architect J. Gerber.
Its common name, Gedung sate, is nick name that translates literally from
Indonesian to 'kebab building', which is a reference to the shape of the building's central flag pole.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Subak is the name of water management (irrigation) system for paddy fields on Bali island. For Balinese, irrigation is not simply providing water for the plant's roots, but water is used to construct a complex, pulsed artificial ecosystem.Paddy fields in Bali were built around water temples and the allocation of water is made by a priest. the population in Bali, well known as the populatino who help each other, so with Subak, they can build irrigation system together.


Mount Rinjani is an active volcano in Indonesia and located in the island of Lombok. It rises to 3,726 m (12,224 ft), making it the third highest volcano in Indonesia. The first historical eruption occurred in September 1847. The most recent eruption of Mount Rinjani was on 10 May 2009. The 6 km by 8.5 km oval-shaped caldera is filled partially by a crater lake known as Segara Anak ('Child of the Sea') and is approximately 2000m above sea level and estimated at being around 200m deep) the caldera also contains hot springs. The highlands are forest clad and mostly underdeveloped. The lowlands are highly cultivated. Rice, soybeans, coffee, tobacco, cotton, cinnamon, and vanilla are the major crops grown in the fertile soils of the island.Many people sell this crops grown and they can use their profit to send their children to enter a school.


The Sawu Sea is a small sea within Indonesia named for the island of Savu (Sawu) on its southern boundary. It is bounded by Savu and Rai Jua to the south, the islands of Rote and Timor (split between East Timor and Indonesia) to the east, Flores and the Alor archipelago to the north/northwest, and the island of Sumba to the east/northeast. The Savu Sea reaches about 3500 m in depth. It spans about 600 km from west to east, and 200 km from north to south. The largest city on the sea is Kupang, the capital of East Nusa Tenggara province on the island of Timor. The geographical coordinates are: 9° 32′ 23" S latitude, 122° 0′ 12" E longitude.


Weh Island a small active volcanic island to the northwest of Sumatra, Indonesia. It was originally connected to the Sumatran mainland and became separated by sea after the volcano's last eruption in the Pleistocene era. The island is situated in the Andaman Sea. The largest city on the island, Sabang, is the westernmost outpost of Indonesia. This island populer cause inserted in national song.
Weh Island is located in the
Andaman Sea.The Andaman Sea lies on an active moving small tectonic plate (microplate). The island lies about 15 kilometres (9 mi) off the northernmost tip of Sumatra. The island is small at only 156.3 square kilometres (60.3 sq mi), but mountainous. A volcanic cone is found in the jungle. There are three solfatara (mudpot) fields on the island: one is 750 metres (0.5 mi) southeast of the summit and the others are 5 kilometres (3 mi) and 11.5 kilometres (7 mi) northwest of the summit, on the western shore of Lhok Perialakot bay.
There are four
islets surrounding Weh Island: Klah, Rubiah, Seulako, and Rondo.

Weh Island is a part of Aceh province. The large majority of the population are Acehnese and the remaining are Minangkabau, Javanese, Batak and Chinese. Islam is the main religion, however, there are some Christians and Buddhists on the island. They are mostly Javanese, Batak and Chinese.
24 December 2004, a massive (9.0 on Richter scale) undersea earthquake struck in the Andaman Sea. The earthquake triggered a series of tsunamis that killed at least 130,000 people in Indonesia alone.

The economy on Weh Island is dominated by agriculture. The main products are cloves and coconuts. Therefore since 1982, a wildlife protection area (suaka alam) has been declared by the Indonesian government that includes 34 square kilometres (13 sq mi) inland and 26 square kilometres (10 sq mi) of surrounding sea.
The two main cities are
Sabang and Balohan. Balohan is a ferry port that serves as a hub between the island and Banda Aceh on the mainland Sumatra. Sabang has been an important quay since the late nineteenth century, because the city overlooks the entry to a busy shipping route, Malacca Strait.
Each year, 50,000 vessels pass through Malacca Strait. In 2000, the Indonesian government declared Sabang a Free Trade Zone and Free Port, to gain economic benefit by establishing the port as a logistic hub for international vessels passing through the strait.
Weh Island is also known for
ecotourism. Underwater diving, hiking through the volcanic mountain and beach resorts are the main attractions. A small village, Iboih, is known as a location for scuba diving.

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